The 76th Annual Academy Awards
While only the bean-counters at PriceWaterhouseCoopers know the actual winners of this year's Academy Awards, we can still make a few early predictions about who will waltz out of this year's ceremony smelling like a rose and who will stumble out stinking of gin and failure.
Here's a list of all the nominees in all the categories. We've included a handy guide to all the awards that have been handed out already in the top categories, as well as Oscar odds (courtesy of online casino www.intertops.com) and our patented Alibi picks.
Employees worry about health care, savings and debt
Like other election years, between now and November you'll hear the word "jobs" bandied about by politicians on the campaign trail. You'll see catchy photos in your mailbox, like the one of Heather Wilson wearing a hard hat and embracing a Hispanic guy in one of those taxpayer-funded campaign fliers. Every candidate jockying for votes will want you to feel good about your future job prospects, because that's always one of the issues pollsters and consultants say electoral victories are made of.
Where did you get that information? Our pawn of a congresswoman was on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" show last week, regurgitating many of the same falsehoods about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction that the Bush administration was taken to task for: that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, that he received large quantities of uranium from Niger, Africa, and that Saddam is in league with members of al Qaeda, the group that claims responsibility for the September 11 attack.
With Councilor Eric Griego showing up late, Councilors Brad Winter and Craig Loy leaving early, and Councilors Michael Cadigan and Miguel Gomez not appearing at all, the Feb. 18 council podium resembled a busy take-out window.
The Big-I looks like crap
February is set to give way to March, bringing with it the end of the latest installment of the state Legislature where all New Mexico's problems were thoughtfully addressed and solved in a spirit of bipartisanship; with neither individual legislators nor Gov. Bill Richardson stopping to worry about who might be getting the better of whom in the press. And if you believe that, you probably believe the state is cutting taxes and spending less money!
Dateline: Massachusetts—Last week's New England Journal of Medicine reported on a case in which French surgeons removed 12 pounds of coins from the stomach of a 62-year-old patient. The man, who had a history of psychiatric illness came to the emergency room of Cholet General Hospital in western France in 2002 complaining of stomach pain and an inability to eat or move his bowels. An X-ray revealed an enormous opaque mass, which turned out to be around 350 coins—approximately $650 worth. Readers of the New England Journal of Medicine wrote in and correctly diagnosed the unnamed man as suffering from a psychological condition known as pica, a rare compulsion to eat things not normally consumed as food. The man had his expensive stomach contents removed, but died 12 days later from complications.
Do people really still give up vices for lent? It's shocking but true: they do, especially in heavily Catholic areas like New Mexico. This is a fascinating religious ritual, a physical and mental marathon of self-denial. A few years ago I gave up booze for lent (mostly just so I could refuse drinks with the line, "No thanks, I gave it up for lent"). But the joke was on me; I'm not so good at self-denial and this 40-day-dry-out was brutal. I think I actually only lasted about 36 days, finally breaking down at Launchpad with a couple of double-tall Bombay Sapphire and tonics. It's so easy to obsess about whatever you're avoiding (booze, cigarettes, candy, pay-per-view porn) that the whole challenge is to think of something—anything—besides the object you've given up. When I was in Sunday school I thought the whole suffering thing was stupid. Why suffer when you don't have to? Needless to say the lesson was wasted on me. Why not pledge to keep everything in balance for lent? I will not do tequila shots. I will not have casual sex with strangers. I will not eat a Snickers and a bag of Fritos and call it lunch. Then again, this moderation doesn't entitle you to any sort of Mardi-Gras blowout. And that is really the best part of lent: getting all the evil out of your system beforehand.
Yashoda Naidoo does that Ayurvedic voodoo so well! The owner of Annapurna Chai House told me that she expects to have a third location of her popular vegetarian/Indian/ayurvedic restaurants open by early April. Right now there is one at San Mateo and Copper and another at Silver and Yale. After months of searching, she finally settled on the perfect location (2120 Juan Tabo NE at Menaul), close to the Ayurvedic Institute. Students at the Institute, Naidoo says, have long been requesting an Annapurna nearby. This will be a relatively small space, with only about 30 seats. Naidoo is planning a trip to India in March to pick up supplies for the restaurant and to scout for ayurvedic cooks who can help take some of the kitchen work off of her shoulders.
Caramelized onions need only a little help to become this hearty, favorite soup
This fancy-sounding soup is actually a humble dish that has sustained its popularity because it delivers dynamite flavor from only a few cheap ingredients, it's easy to make and it's even low-fat, assuming you don't drown it in cheese. In fact, the soup is so flavorful that it can easily stand on its own, without the customary crouton and melted Gruyère. Sans cheese, a small serving fits well as part of a multi-course meal.
The better question may be: What keeps food from going bad?
Q: I've always wondered why some foods go bad so quickly even if refrigerated, while others seem to last forever without refrigeration. Is there any rule of thumb?
Oscar Nominee Number One—If you're tired of staring at your pitiful 13-inch RCA TV and are looking for an appropriately grand place to take in this year's Academy Awards broadcast, we have three suggestions for you to choose from. Nominee number one is the 12th Annual Academy Awards Benefit at the historic Lobo Theatre in Nob Hill. This epic shindig is sponsored by Louie's Rock 'N' Reels, City on a Hill Church, Zinc Bistro and the Alibi. This charity event will help raise funds for P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Wonderful Support), a New Mexico AIDS Services program that provides companion animal support for critically ill patients in our local community. Dinner will be served at Zinc Bistro beginning at 5 p.m. Live broadcast of the Oscars will begin at 7 p.m. right next door on the Lobo Theatre's big screen. Yours truly, Alibi film editor Devin O'Leary, will be serving as the night's emcee, helping hand out door prizes during commercial breaks. There will be a silent auction of items donated by local merchants and a costume contest for those who wish to show up as their favorite movie star or movie character. Tickets are $20 for event only and $45 for dinner and event. Tickets are available at Louie's Rock 'N' Reels (3015 Central NE). Seating is limited, so hurry up!
An interview with House of Sand and Fog star Sir Ben Kingsley
As if you couldn't tell from his four Oscar nominations (one of which—1982's Gandhi—nabbed him the Best Actor statuette), Sir Ben Kingsley is an actor's actor. His magnificently divergent personas—from a humble Jewish accountant in Schindler's List to a rancorous Cockney gangster in Sexy Beast—have made him one of the screen world's most exciting actors.
Havana Nights Has It All—Revolution, Deceit, Love—But Most Of All It Has Dancing
Dirty Dancing, the original, is a movie that sticks out in many girls' minds as one of the most amazing love stories of the '80s. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey's charisma took our breath away, and left us wondering if we would ever find passion like theirs. As the prequel to the original, Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights, strives to recreate the original movie's intensity, while making Cuban politics one of the main focuses, right behind love and, of course, the love of dance.
Several months ago, Alibi reported that Club Rhythm and Blues, sadly, was closing, at least temporarily. The news set off something of a firestorm with regard to those involved in the exceptional Nob Hill live music venue at the time, but came from an inside source and, lo and behold, turned out to be true. Club Rhythm and Blues officially closed its doors following a farewell Halloween show last year. But as further proof of reincarnation, we're happy to announce that Club Rhythm and Blues will reopen in March with a month-long series of events planned as the grand reopening celebration. The doors will open for the first time in more than four months on Thursday, March 4, to reintroduce the club to its former cast of regulars and, with a little luck, a new crop of live music fans. On Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6, Albuquerque Blues Connection will take the stage, ushering in the first weekend of live music under the new ownership.
Saturday, Feb. 28; Tingley Coliseum (all ages, 7 p.m.): Neil Young has spent nearly 40 years exploring the American Dream on big-picture terms—not just the wife, car and 2.3 kids all crammed into a little house with a white picket fence, but the essence of the American experience. And as an outsider (Young is Canadian) he's been more successful than most.
A polka party brought to you by the fine folks at KUNM. Please show up so Mary B. doesn't go crazy.
Friday, Feb. 27; The Paramount (Santa Fe, 21 and over, 7:30 p.m.)/Saturday, Feb. 28; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 7 p.m.): Go ahead. It's OK to hate polka. Until you see Denton, Texas-based Brave Combo, that is. After that, hating polka—or at least Brave Combo—will be as impossible as remembering the day you were born.
Sublimely gorgeous and simple in its elegance, Norah Jones' second record is everything the 8 million people who bought her debut expected and, surprisingly, more. Teamed again with producer Arif Martin, Jones teeters on the brink of being a jazz singer through 13 tracks of intensely lovely pop, where melodies float effortlessly over quietly understated instrumentation. There are three highly effective covers here, including Tom Waits' “The Long Way Home,” but it's the songs penned by Jones herself and in the company of bassist Lee Alexander that shine most brilliantly. Buy this record.
Victims of strict Catholic educations can purge some of their residual pain by attending Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan's Late Nite Catechism, a comedy that will run for 16 performances from March 2 through March 16 in UNM's Rodey Theatre. Even non-Catholics will probably appreciate this funny look at classroom authoritarianism. Beware the paddle. Tickets are $32. (800) 905-3315.
Ch-ch-ch-changes. Mary Zimmerman's play Metamorphoses, based on the mythical tales of Ovid, created a lot of hoopla as an off Broadway production in New York. Now director Denise Schultz brings a version to UNM's Theatre X. The UNM production will incorporate puppets and masks, but because of its risque nature it's not recommended for kids under 16. Metamorphoses runs Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. through March 6. $8 general, $6 students/seniors. 277-4569.
The romance and mystique surrounding the Roma (gypsy) people goes back centuries. This Friday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. in UNM's Popejoy Hall, the Budapest Dance Ensemble, one of the oldest folk dance troupes of Central Europe, will offer up the music and dance traditions of the Roma in Gypsy Spirit, a smashingly popular traveling show. The complex choreography and jumping music should be a sight to behold. Tickets are $19, $26 and $29. To reserve yours, call (800) 905-3315.
An interview with T.C. Boyle
T.C. Boyle has been a reliable fiction factory for well over two decades. His best-known book is undoubtedly The Tortilla Curtain, the 1995 social novel that lampooned the immigration situation along our southern border. Yet novels like A Friend of the Earth and The Road to Wellville, as well as Boyle's numerous short story collections, have also met with plenty of commercial and critical success.
Lee Quiñones at UNM's Keller Hall
In the late '60s, graffiti artists, many of them extraordinarily talented teenagers, began painting on subway cars and other surfaces all over New York City. Lee Quiñones' family didn't have a car at the time, so the subway was their principle mode of transportation. As a youngster, he saw graffiti everywhere he went. When he was 14 years old, he picked up a spray can and started doing it himself.
It's time to venture Out ch'Yonda
It's only a hop and a skip away, but it still seems like a world apart. An easy 10-minute walk from downtown Albuquerque takes you to Out ch'Yonda, a hip, relatively new performance and exhibit space located in the heart of Albuquerque's historic Barelas neighborhood. A little over a year ago, local artists Stephanie Willis and Virginia Hampton opened shop in the pleasantly ramshackle building, creating a venue to promote work by artists of color. It's an experiment in grassroots arts and activism that's a much-needed addition to Albuquerque's cultural landscape.
African Americans: From Freedom to Slavery to Freedom
Vivid images of intolerance and cruelty toward humankind are revealed in a new exhibit that reflects just one of humanity's many vices. “By the age of two a child has been taught how to hate and how to discriminate,” said Werner Gellert, president of the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum and Study Center, as he and his fellow employees set up a new exhibit titled African Americans: From Freedom to Slavery to Freedom.
City moves to condemn proposed Bosque Wilderness Subdivision
From a bird's eye, it's just the Bosque. You have to get down real close to the dirt to see the property markers and barbed wire fence lines that separate the proposed Bosque Wilderness Subdivision from the plain old Bosque wilderness. But the line markers are there. And when news of the proposed subdivision circulated publicly a few weeks back, public officials began to take more than the bird's-eye view of the situation and started working on getting some money together to buy the property.
Cry us a river. In a lame-ass attempt to convince folks that she cares about something other than lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies at the expense of America's senior citizens and under the guise of extending "a prescription drug benefit" to the very people that are actually getting screwed by inflated drug costs, Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M., unfortunately) literally cried foul on Wednesday as a House Telecommunications Committee spent two hours chastising Viacom president Mel Karmazin over this year's Super Bowl halftime festivities.
Interview with Rick Smith, former acting superintendent of Yellowstone National Park
Richard Nixon is remembered mostly as a disgraced liar, but by today's standards (summed up in four words—Dick Cheney Energy Czar) he was one helluva Republican environmentalist. After all, Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, signed the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. The first President Bush was no Nixon, but he did sign the 1990 Clean Air Act.
Win the battle councilors, and you'll win the war
It's one of life's more poignant ironies: Everyone wants into heaven—it's the part about dying that's a drag. On similar lines, many of our elected officials say they want greater infill and redevelopment of the existing city and less of the current Westside growth pattern. But whenever the political heat from area neighborhood associations gets a little too hot, all those lofty ideals go straight to hell.
Heather Wilson's bizarre outburst misses the point
I keep hearing about "media literacy" and find I'm intrigued by the concept. I heard a presentation on it by an Albuquerque Academy teacher and a panel of students a few years ago and my curiosity has grown ever since, whetted by occasional references to it.
Dateline: Taiwan—A 57-year-old motorcyclist was struck in the head with more than 20 million in Taiwanese dollars as he passed under a highway bridge in a Taipei suburb. The cash, bound up in two plastic garbage bags, had been tossed off the overpass by the relatives of a kidnap victim, just as the kidnappers had instructed. According to the United Daily News, the bags knocked out 57-year-old Lu Fang-nan who was on his way home at the time. The bags were immediately picked up by the kidnappers, who were waiting nearby. Lu regained consciousness a few minutes later and was hospitalized with bruises and a swollen leg. He did not realize that he had been cold-cocked by flying cash (worth some 600,000 in U.S. dollars) until television reported the kidnapped businessman's safe return and the delivery site of the ransom payment. “What does this have to do with me? Why did I get hit? I'm certainly unlucky enough,” United Daily quoted Lu as saying.
All right, all you art-savvy hipsters. This one's for you. Magnífico Young Collectors is a membership organization serving youngish art lovers ages 21 to 40. If you fork out some cash for a membership the money goes to support the arts in Downtown Albuquerque. The fee for this year is $100.
The Taming of the Shrew at the Cell Theatre
After centuries of painstaking refinement, shrew taming finally went out of style in the Western world in the late '60s. The feminist movement convinced most men and women that such behavior was barbaric. It's still practiced in some quarters, of course, but only by smelly miscreants and losers.
Feast your eyes on this. The Seventh Annual Artfeast comes to Santa Fe this weekend. Thirty art galleries and restaurants will present an array of exhibits and extravagant cuisine to benefit Artsmart, a nonprofit organization that brings arts education to public schools. The big event will occur on Friday, Feb. 20, during the Edible Art Tour. For $25, you can take part in a walking tour offering access to all kinds of great art and grub. For details, call the Santa Fe Gallery Association at (505) 982-1648.
Congregation Nahalat Shalom
Dip your cute little toes into the steaming stew of Klezmer culture when the annual Klezmerquerque festival comes to Congregation Nahalat Shalom. From Friday, Feb. 20, through Sunday, Feb. 22, there'll be more dancing, music, classes and straight-up Klezmer-style partying than you'll know what to do with. It should be a genuine certified guaranteed hoot for all concerned. For a full schedule, give Nahalat Shalom a call 343-8227.
Excerpts from Charles Becknell's forthcoming book No Challenge, No Change
Born in 1941, Charles Becknell grew up in rural southeastern New Mexico, attending a segregated school until 1954, the year the U.S. Supreme Court found such schools to be unconstitutional. After finishing graduate school, he founded and directed the Afro-American Studies Program at UNM and later served as Secretary of Criminal Justice under Gov. Jerry Apodaca.
Nuke Night at the Movies—The People Before Profit film series presents Do It for Uncle Sam, a new film on New Mexico's 60-year nuclear legacy by filmmaker Candy Jones. Following the film will be a discussion with speakers from the Los Alamos Study Group, Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping, Stop the War Machine and Southwest Research and Information Center. The screening/discussion will take place Thursday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center (202 Harvard SE).
Harrowing high-altitude doc is as easy as falling off a mountain
You know when you're watching a horror movie and you want to scream out to the people on screen, “No! You freakin' idiots! Don't go into the basement”? It's never going to produce any results, but you're seized by the urge nonetheless. Well, the new docu-drama Touching the Void is a lot like that. Though it's based on a true story, viewers will undoubtedly wish they could climb up onto the screen and warn the subjects about what is clearly going to happen next.
Sympathy for the Devil
The list of honorees at this year's Academy Awards is certainly one of the most depressing in years. It's not the quality of work that's depressing. In fact, the quality is outstanding. Rather, it's the subject matter. With films like Mystic River, 21 Grams, House of Sand and Fog, Cold Mountain and Monster on the slate, Academy members can be forgiven for their sullen expressions and overall feeling of existential ennui.
While the name “Friday Night Debut” is something of a mystery, the special show scheduled Friday night, Feb. 20, at Puccini's Golden West Saloon should be one hell of a local rock event. The bill features Once Misguided, an acoustic set by Mosquito to Moscow, Soular and Breaker 19. ... Speaking of Breaker 19, someone please inform guitarist and radio blowhole Michael Moxey that his band will also be performing on Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Atomic Cantina with simple. and a hack bluegrass band consisting of several members of the Alibi staff. Bring veggies to throw. ... There's still time to break your bank account and attend the 16th Annual International Folk Alliance Conference in San Diego, Calif., Feb. 26-29. It'll cost you roughly $500, but if folk music is your thing, this is certainly the event for you. Visit www.folk.org for more information. ... Or, for an additional $50 and a rock fetish, you can check out South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, March 17-21. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 bands from all over the world will perform during the five-day event, including our very own 12 Step Rebels and Fivehundred (a.k.a. Mr. Spectacular). Try www.sxsw.com for information. ... Weekly Alibi is proud to sponsor phenomenal French guitar master Pierre Bensusan on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Outpost Performance Space. A full preview of the concert will appear in next week's issue, but there's a good chance it'll be sold out by then, so get your tickets now at the Book Stop in Nob Hill (268-8898) or at the Outpost (268-0044).
For the past decade or so, vocalist extraordinary Cassandra Wilson has become most widely known for her "popification" of jazz—gently blurring the chalky line that separates pop from jazz until it blends with the colors on both sides, creating countless ghostly hues with a peerless contra-alto voice and supreme melodic sensibilities. And it's inside that no-man's land that Wilson seems most comfortable, flirting with funk, soul, jazz, pop and blues until she finds just the right combination for each song.
On Glamoured, her new Blue Note release, Wilson strips away the horns, pianos and orchestrations that marked some of her previous releases in favor of groove-oriented instrumentation, and the organic combo of guitars, upright bass and percussion—and the occasional harmonica and banjo—serves both her original material and eclectic selection of covers extraordinarily well. In Wilson's hands, Willie Nelson's "Crazy," Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" and Abbey Lincoln's "Throw It Away" emerge from the trappings of timelessness as rekindled souls. But it's Wilson's original compositions that transcend, from the Latin essence of "Heaven Knows" to the blues-inflected "On This Train."
Jason Lakis' (a.k.a. The Red Thread) debut was built on understated alt.country pop numbers that flirted with the broad, windswept soundscape tendencies of bands like Lanterna and the folk-heartedness of the Idahos and Haydens of the music world. Tension Pins doesn't stray far from that elegant formula, but Lakis nonetheless sounds more confident, more in-the-moment and startlingly more relevant with regard to both lyrical content and compositional skill. These 11 songs harbor a dreamlike quality that enables the vilified notions of soft rock to coalesce with indie aesthetics and inklings of countrified pop. Incredible songwriting and unpretentious instrumental prowess. Killer.
There's nothing like looking through food magazines to work up a wicked hunger. After a week of drooling all over copies of the latest foodie rags I've somehow managed to lose my appetite for anything that isn't actively glistening, steaming or oozing juices. Also, I only want to look at my food in the warm light of a fire's glow, preferably as I lay on a fluffy Persian lamb rug at my house in Aspen (or wherever it is these food magazine people hang out in February). If firelight doesn't do it, I know I can also try holding a bite below a tungsten bulb and looking at it up really, really close. I'm not sure why, but for some reason extreme close-ups of food seem to make me drool. In Gourmet I flip past a long shot of croissants but am stopped dead by a larger than life Triscuit topped with cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream. I don't even like Triscuits but I think I can actually see the grains of salt shimmering within the wheaty woven cracker and it makes my mouth water. If only there were a team of 10 prepping my every morsel and I never had to leave my furry perch in front of the fire. I guess I'll just have to pump up the glisten factor of my teriyaki chicken bowl with extra sauce and eat it by the warm light of the TV.
“On Corrales Road, just past Hooters but before you get to Applebee's.” That's how Narendra Kloty describes the location of Bombay Grill, the Indian restaurant he hopes to open at 3600 Corrales Road this April. Kloty is also the owner of Santa Fe's India Palace, a much-loved city institution located a few blocks south of that city's plaza. He says that Bombay Grill's menu will include more grilled items and more Atkins-friendly dishes than familiar Indian menus do. Right now renovation is underway, a process Kloty describes as “de-Orientalizing” the place. Of course he could leave all of the dragon-paned lanterns hanging and put Dan “The Automator” Nakamura's Bombay the Hard Way disc on shuffle/repeat but that might be a little too postmodern for Rio Rancho.
The District Bar and Grill's owner on Wi-Fi, food and “flair” bartenders
With full-service bars both inside and on the patio, free Wi-Fi access and a funky, global menu, The District (115 Fourth NW), promises to shake up the city's lunch, dinner and late-night scenes. The menu, created by Chef Jeff Cordova, looks creative and approachable, with Jamaican steak frites salad, slow-roasted pork carnitas and pan-seared potstickers but no hamburgers.
“That's What That Smell Is!”
Notes From a Relationship Self-help Book Junkie
You read that right and this is an article all about sex! The hot, steamy, lusty, juicy, loud and noisy, toe-curling kind of sex, right? Wrong. I don't share my hard-won secrets of sexual satisfaction anymore, not that they were all that secretive. They just didn't lead to the kind of satisfaction that I and millions of other people seem to crave and can't seem to find or keep. Relationship book sales continue to rise right along with the divorce rate, which has quadrupled in this country over the past 40 years. The Census Bureau recently predicted that half of all marriages now occurring will end in divorce while the percentage of people who never marry is increasing rapidly despite the sexual revolution and a national obsession to produce more and better orgasms as a path to a better relationship.
Ranchers, Navajos and enviros sue BLM
Every 10 years or so, the U.S. Department of Interior reviews our nation's natural resource management policies, and then officials determine things like how many drilling and mining permits will be issued to private industries.
Legislature offers compromise bill to clarify new water utility authority
Following all the controversy surrounding the new Bernalillo County-Albuquerque Water Utility Authority, it appears the state Legislature has resolved to modify the bill that created the new, third government agency in 2003, instead of granting the wish of Mayor Martin Chavez, who wanted the water board dissolved.
Sandwiched between the Super Bowl and New Mexico's Democratic Presidential Caucus, playing opposite Bush's Budget of Ballooning Baloney, and going head-to-head with Punxsutawney Phil, the Feb. 2 City Ccouncil meeting adjourned in less than two hours.
Local coverage ignores elderly outrage
I'm told that very few (if any) of the congressmen and women who voted on it had even read the full 681 densely packaged pages of mind-numbing prose that made up the latest Medicare Reform legislation when they acted on it last Fall.
Undermining the planned growth strategy
I may be the only who feels this way, but the most offensive part of the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake Super Bowl fandango (which overshadowed the event's "family-friendly" advertisements for beer, erectile dysfunction and flatulence) was Timerblake's apparent belief that he's some sort of hip-hop gangsta from the hood representing his homies. Watching Timberlake (of suburban Memphis) crotch-grab his way around the stage you got the sense that his ’tude is about as natural as the silicone in Jackson's breasts. A few years ago, Timberlake was singing high tenor for the Mouseketeer Club but overnight (did Mickey "dis" him on the mean streets of the Magic Kingdom?) he's acting like he's got the same street cred as Dr. Dre, Eminen and 50 Cent.
Dateline: South Africa—A retired surgeon and his brother were killed in Polokwane last Friday when their homemade hyperbaric chamber exploded. Dr. Paul Eloff, 76, was undergoing treatment for poor blood circulation inside the pressurized oxygen chamber located in his brother's back yard. Eloff's brother Gerhard, 66, was standing near the heavy steel cylinder with his 27-year-old son Georg when the device exploded. The blast ripped open the steel wall of the cylinder, which was between four and six inches thick, and shattered windows on surrounding houses. Dr. Eloff's remains were found about 30 feet away from the chamber. Its hatch lay about 50 feet away. Georg escaped with only minor injuries, but the elderly brothers were killed instantly. “The remains were taken away in plastic bags. It was horrific,” neighbor Marieta Herselman told South Africa's Sunday Times. “It was like scraping leaves together in your garden and putting them in plastic bags.” A police spokesman confirmed that the chamber was a “homemade thing and they didn't have a license for it.” Hyperbaric treatment was originally developed to treat deep-sea divers for “the bends.” It is now used for a variety of ailments including carbon monoxide poisoning, anemia, bone infections and burns.
A handful of us Bud-swilling, queso-consuming, Janet Jackson's boob-ogling partygoers powered through about a pound of the new black and white M&M's on Super Bowl Sunday. As you must already know, the different colored candy-coated chocolates don't taste noticeably different from each other. This is not surprising. But you might get a kick out of testing yourself the next time you sit down to a basket of tricolor tortilla chips. Because blue corn chips are made from a different kind of corn it seems logical that they might not taste exactly like white or yellow chips. And the bright red chips, which might be made with red corn but must also use some food coloring, have a completely novel flavor. While you're waiting for your food to come, eat a few regular white or yellow chips just to familiarize yourself with the flavor. Then break off three similar-sized chunks of the different colored chips into your hand. Close your eyes and shuffle them around a bit then pop one in your mouth. Chew it up and try to guess which one you're eating. You'll probably recognize the regular chip right away. Blue corn chips are often denser, grainier with a more earthy flavor. The red chips are mellower, almost sweet. There, that's your new party trick. I hope it wins you a few bets and a free margarita or two.
Roadrunner Food Bank's annual Souper Bowl, held on Jan. 24, raised more than $30,000 for hunger relief. The food bank provides more than a million pounds of food every month to homeless shelters, food pantries and soup kitchens throughout New Mexico. More than 20 restaurants competed in the Souper Bowl, serving up samples to hundreds of hungry guests who then voted for their favorites. Copeland's of New Orleans won first place for their crawfish and corn bisque; Ranchers Club's seafood bisque earned second place and Trattoria Trombino took third with an unlikely sounding favorite: spinach and mascarpone soup. A panel of six judges also chose favorites in a blind tasting. Critics' Choice Awards went to McGrath's at the Hyatt (green chile chicken with wild rice), Copeland's of New Orleans (the crawfish and corn bisque again) and Peppers of Albuquerque (green chile crab chowder with red chile dumplings). Flying Star Cafés and Gold Street Caffe tied for the Best Presentation award. Desserts were more prominent at this year's Souper Bowl and several stood out. The Marriott Pyramid wowed the crowd with a sparkling apple cider dessert soup, chocolate passion fruit mousse, lemon cream puffs and chocolate espresso pyramids.
The ultimate topping for necks, nipples and Neapolitan ice cream
If you spend any time doing Valentine's shopping at adult gift shops or chocolate shops you'll probably run across jars of chocolate body paint. This stuff can be a recipe for a sexy (if sticky) night of fun but not if the chocolate paint tastes cheap and fake as most of them do. So we set out to make a chocolate sauce that would leave you licking your lips whether it's used to write a love letter across your lover's back or top a bowl of ice cream. We tried easy methods like simply melting chocolate chips and coating chocolate but couldn't come up with a sauce that had the two essential qualities we were looking for: rich, deep chocolatey flavor and a thick, dark, glossy look that would be perfect for painting. Eventually we came up with a recipe that gets instense flavor from cocoa powder, just enough sweetness from a simple syrup and a touch of richness and shine from butter. We can't guarantee it won't ruin your sheets but we can bet you probably won't care.
Fried Butter: A Food Memoir by Abe Opincar (Hardcover, Soho Press, $18)
Sometimes you just don't have the mental hunger to sink your teeth into a big, meaty novel, especially if—like many of us—you only get the time to read right before bed. It's late, you're tired and by tomorrow night you'll have forgotten everything you read during tonight's last waking moments. That's when books like Fried Butter are particularly appetizing. Abe Opincar's memoir is a collection of very short stories, brief invitations to moments in his life that might seem entirely unrelated were they not all linked by the presence, taste and aroma of food. Though this menu of literary tapas is food-themed, it is much richer for its moments of bare emotion and frank self-reflection.
Heartbroken—If you're one of those cynical, unromantic types, then I'm afraid there's a reason to be even more cynical this coming holiday. Despite a certain amount of ballyhoo last week, the Alibi's Midnight Movie Madness screening of My Bloody Valentine scheduled for Feb. 13 and 14 has been cancelled. Though we had hoped to provide a romance-free zone this Valentine's Day with a showing of the classic 1981 slasher flick, Paramount Pictures determined that their last surviving print of the film was unsuitable for public viewing. (Would have been nice if they'd figured that out when we booked it a couple weeks ago.) Digging up these old film prints is a difficult and often frustrating task. It's downright scary to find out that these films may soon be unavailable. Seems that the print of My Bloody Valentine has been trashed over the years and Paramount just doesn't want to let it out the doors. It's a shame, and we're sorry to have raised the hopes of all you moviegoers looking for a good old-fashioned pickaxe murder to help coax your date into your lap this Valentine's Day. Looks like you're on your own now. Again, we're very sorry for the cancellation, but we'll be back in a week or so with a new Midnight Movie Madness offering.
Robert McNamara answers the question, “War: What is
it good for?”
In The Fog of War, the riveting new documentary by Errol Morris (Gates of Heaven, The Thin Blue Line, A Brief History of Time), former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara declares, “The human race needs to think more about killing.” While it sounds rather chilling, he's right any way you look at it. The key word here is “think.” And The Fog of War is nothing if not a think piece.
An interview with screenwriter Julie Reichert
The year 1984 was a watershed for breakdance cinema, with the release of Breakin', Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, Beat Street, Delivery Boys and Body Rock (starring a young Lorenzo Lamas). The following year saw a tiny spate of follow-up films (Krush Groove, Rappin'), but the trend (cinematically speaking, anyway) seemed short-lived.
In yet another boneheaded decision by a local band, the formerly brilliantly named Mr. Spectacular have officially and rather unfortunately changed their name to Fivehundred, which, in my opinion, is meaningless and utterly forgetable, quite unlike the band formerly known as Mr. Spectacular. For their sake, let's hope they make their upcoming South By Southwset appearance as Mr. Spectacular, the band the SXSW folks are expecting. Congratulations, guys. And shame on you. ... The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, who are not considering a name change, will host their first-ever media auction on Thursday, Feb. 12, at the NMSO offices at 4407 Menaul NE. Attendees will have the opportunity to cast their bids on more than 50 lots, including valuable advertising packages from many of Albuquerque's top media outlets. KKOB-AM afternoon windbag Jim Villanucci will provide stand-up comedy, while members of the NMSO will provide music during the event. All proceeds from the auction will benefit NMSO's youth education programs. Tickets are $20. Call 881-8999 for more information. ... If I don't mention the following this week, Mary B will hunt me down and kill me: Mary B and her parent company, 89.9-FM KUNM, will present Texas polka legends Brave Combo for the 713th time on Friday, Feb. 27, at the Paramount in Santa Fe, and for the 714th time on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Sunshine Theater. Stay tuned to future issues for a full preview of these Polish-friendly events.
Thanks to its unforgettable opening melody, which invariably insinuates its way into the heart, Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto has earned a deservedly permanent place in the repertoire. Arcadi Volodos' rendition of the concerto is the third to arrive from a major label in the past few months. As with the other two, the first featuring Lang Lang backed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim (Universal Classics), the other showcasing 2001's Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition winner Olga Kern and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Christopher Seaman (Harmonia Mundi), the recording is available as an SACD-hybrid multi-channel disc.
with Bouncing Souls, Longshot and Let It Burn
Thursday, Feb. 19; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 7 p.m.): Somewhere between Quicksand's post-hardcore fury, Social Distortion's three-chord Californicated version of the Ramones' classic sound and At the Drive In's clear-cut emo, you'll find the Hot Water Music sound. Sure, tons of other comparisons can be drawn (Burning Airlines, late-era Helmet, the entire stable of Dischord bands circa 1989, and so on), but the only thing you really need to know is that of all the bands currently treading emo's ever quaking, never-quite-solid ground, Hot Water Music tread the lightest and with the biggest stick. Their various and wide range of influences are pressure cooked within the confines of Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard's twin guitar/lead vocal blast furnace, then simmered into thick post-punk riffs and near-anthemic choruses.
with Thin Lizzy
Tuesday, Feb. 17; Kiva Auditorium (Albuquerque Convention Center, all ages, 7:30 p.m.): Laugh out loud all you want, but Albuquerque is nothing if not a classic rock town. At one time in the not-so-distant past, our city boasted the most classic rock radio stations in the entire Western United States. And they all thrived, right up until those two companies bought up all the radio stations in the Western United States.
with the spirit of Jerry Garcia
Tuesday, Feb. 17; Stella Blue (21 and over, 9 p.m.): In the spirit of not letting dead Garcias lie, the Dark Star Orchestra tour the country presenting excruciatingly detailed reenactments of Grateful Dead shows, set list for set list, song for song, concert for concert. Going far beyond the realm of most "tribute" bands, the Dark Star Orchestra recreate specific Dead shows given on specific dates, which they keep secret until the encore of each show. They even go so far as to present the shows using replicas of the instruments the Dead used for the original performances. The audience, some of whom may have seen the Dead show to be played out once again, can get clues as to the date of the original show by checking mic number and placement, keyboard setup, guitar and bass varieties, etc., assuming that attending Grateful Dead shows has been their life's work. A Dark Star Orchestra show is just like being dead all over again.
Puddle of Mudd are like the book-learners you went to high school with: They studied Nirvana and the grunge movement with precision only to come away with a sterile knowledge of the music but no feel for its underlying soul. They're moderately effective emulators, but there's nary an original idea in their collective head. Life on Display is a bland, repetitive exercise in music that meant something a dozen years ago. Bereft of hooks or exemplary songwriting, it falls flat on its face in its first seconds and doesn't bother to struggle to its feet. Frat dicks will love it.
You'll never view the Bible in the same way again. El Jardín tweaks the bejesus out of the story of Adam and Eve, retelling the ancient Judeo-Christian myth in a way that spoofs everything from the Catholic Church to historic scholarship to colonialism to racism and gender bias. This bilingual play by Carlos Morton also presents a genuine slice of vintage Chicano protest theater as this genre first developed in the late '60s and early '70s.
Karmic Debt at the Tricklock Performance Space
Shenoah Allen—that dirty, dirty dog—lied to me. A week or two ago, he told me that his new one-man show, Karmic Debt, which just opened at the Tricklock Performance Space, would be extremely dark. He made it sound like he'd be torturing small animals on stage while exploring what it would be like to suffer from the simultaneous effects of leprosy, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. He promised a tiny glimmer of light at the end, but I still expected his new show to be macabre and depressing.
The politics of love gets the ruthless skewering it deserves in Sleep With Me!, a play by award-winning local playwright Susan Erickson. A dentist named Elliot comes to terms with his wife's affair with an FBI agent in ways that can hardly be considered constructive. The result is a zany romantic comedy that will be fun for a substantial fraction of the whole family. Sleep With Me! runs through March 7. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 6 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. 247-8600.